Recent Increase in Online Scams – Help Protect Yourself

December 8th, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of year…for online scammers! During this busy holiday season, many consumers and businesses see an increase in email solicitations and fraudulent links, which, when clicked, can lead to breaches in your cybersecurity. 

It is important to educate and protect yourself when using Internet-connected systems, which includes online banking for both your personal and business accounts. Technology, such as anti-virus and malware software, can help. 

  • Use an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), website filtering, hardware firewall, and email filtering to prevent threats from reaching your computer. Ensure these systems are set to automatically update for security software patches.
  • Verify a site is protected with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate prior to typing in sensitive information. If a site is secure, it will display https:// in the address bar and/or display a padlock symbol.
  • Use a current web browser with phishing protection, web filtering, auto-security update, and other safe site security.

Over the past few months, phishing efforts by scammers have become more sophisticated, making fraudulent communications harder to detect. That’s where you come in. While technology can help protect you and your private information, the best security precautions can be taken by you

  • Do not share access credentials and be sure to log off online banking after completing your session.
  • Review account activity and statements regularly and report errors immediately.
  • Use one computer exclusively for online banking activities and a different computer to surf the web and send/receive email.
  • Treasury clients: only enter a token password when sending a wire or ACH.  If you’re not sending an external transfer and are prompted to enter a token password, stop what you’re doing and do not enter the password. Contact First Interstate Bank at 1-855-342-3400 to notify them of the issue.
  • Do not respond to emails or phone calls asking for personal information, such as account number, account info, Social Security Number, etc.
  • Delete emails from unknown sources. Many email scams will use dramatic subject titles and count on recipients to be curious and open these emails. 
  • Do not reply or click on a link in an unsolicited email. If you receive an email that warns you an account will be shut down unless you confirm your personal information, contact the company cited in the email using a known telephone number.
  • Do not open a program, file, or attachment unless you know it is legitimate. Even when you are confident an attachment is legitimate, it is still a good idea to run it through an updated virus scan program.

To offer the best protection possible for our online banking clients, First Interstate Bank has a comprehensive, layered security system in place. But that’s only half the battle. To ensure the utmost protection, it’s important for you to also take steps to prevent fraud. We encourage all our clients—and especially our business clients—to risk assess their security and business controls periodically to ensure you are protecting yourself and your business from internal and external fraud threats. 

If you suspect fraudulent activity related to your First Interstate Bank account(s), please contact us immediately at 1-866-212-4711 or at